Fees fury of caravan owners

CARAVAN owners have expressed their anger at having annual fees for the new season increased although the managing authority admits the site is not up to standard.

CARAVAN owners have expressed their anger at having annual fees for the new season increased although the managing authority admits the site is not up to standard.

Waveney District Council is increasing fees for the 162 caravans at the Southwold Harbour Caravan site by 3% for the summer season and has charged £173 to owners who left their caravans on site over the winter.

This has caused many owners upset after the council told them last year to remove their caravans for the winter because it was planning to sell the park because it could not afford to bring it up to modern day standards.

After a campaign by owners, local businesses and residents fearful that a new management company would spoil the site and not allow the present owners back on, the council agreed the caravans could stay.


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The caravans had been allowed to remain over the winter the previous year and a winter storage fee of £146 was ringfenced for landscaping the run-down site.

Dougie Dorrington, chairman of the Southwold Caravan Owners' Association, said: "There should not be any increase. We have also been charged £173 for winter storage for staying on the site but nothing has been done to it and there is no indication this year of this being ringfenced."

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Many caravan owners have been back and forth to Southwold over the winter to attend campaign and council meetings about the proposed sale of the site, which many believe belongs to the people of Southwold and not the council.

Helen Renshaw's caravan was one of the few taken off the site in November before the council decided to allow the caravans to stay on. She was reimbursed transfer costs by the council and has not received a winter storage bill.

She said: "As long as something is resolved in the long term an increase of 3% is water off a duck's back. It's mildly annoying but I'm more interested in who's going to be managing it in the future."

A spokesman for the council defended the increased fees by stating it was in line with inflation but was unable to comment on where the money raised from winter storage fees would go.

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